Best Brush Gun


November 22, 2008, 10:42 PM
Hi everybody,
I have been confounded in my recent quest to find a good brush gun. I live in the northeast, most of my hunting will be done in brush with probably the longest shot at 200 yards. Iron sights are a must, and the gun will probably perform double (or triple) duty on coyotes and deer later on as well as target shooting. The cheaper the better but I'm willing to spend more money if thats what it takes. i dont have any specific calibers in mind but i liked the looks of 25-06 ballistics. Any suggestions? i mean ANY. i'm literally stumped. i've never had a period of time like this where i wasnt lusting after one gun or another!

ANY advice is appreciated!

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November 22, 2008, 10:50 PM
A light rifle in .243, savage, maybe a CZ.... (i actually don't know if CZ makes a .243) Better bullets are avaliable for target shooting, it is way good enough for deer, out to 500yd, and it is still a good varmint cartridge.

November 22, 2008, 10:54 PM
Remington Model Seven in .243.


November 22, 2008, 10:55 PM
You're hunting deer and coyotes, and want to target shoot, right?

It depends on what kind of target shooting, but I think an SKS may be just the thing. 7.62x39 plinker ammo is cheap, it has about the ballistics of the 30-30 round if you use proper(but more expensive) stuff, and the SKS is inexpensive and, from what I hear, reliable.

Have you considered a 12 gauge? You can shoot clays, and with a change of barrels, you can shoot longer range slugs.

November 22, 2008, 11:05 PM
marlin guide gun is what id go for i like the .444 ones (idk if its a guide gun of just i lever i think guide gun but you cant go wrong the the .45-70 either)

Chuck Dye
November 22, 2008, 11:06 PM
In the literature and most of the forums I have read, a "brush gun" is, generally speaking, chambered to throw heavier, slower bullets that are expected (but not particularly proven) to be deflected less by brush than lighter, faster bullets. Flat shooting rounds like the .25-06 need not apply for the description. "Brush guns" are also written and spoken of as having shorter barrels so as to ease your passage through brush, again contradictory to .25-06 class rounds that come into their own with 24 and 26 inch barrels.

Perhaps you could refine your search parameters a bit.

November 22, 2008, 11:06 PM
If you are after a true brush gun, then .25-06 isn't where you ought to be heading. To bust brush, you want a big bullet, and speed isn't really your friend, like .45, or even bigger is better. I'm not a .45-70 fan, but it would be a good brush caliber. Anthing bigger puts you into major expense and/or wildcat country. I'd suggest either a lever action or a pump. Every step you take down from the .45 takes away from your brush desire. Course a .45-70 isn't generally thought of as a coyote cartridge either. A nice compromise might be a 760 or 7600 in .35 Whelen. You'd have to go used, but they have been produced in the past. A .24 or .25 caliber is not going to do real well in the brush--nor a .26 or .27 or .28, even a .30 is weak in brush. A pretty tuff item you're asking for--a brush gun also good for coyotes and target shooting! Kind of like asking for a sports car that will also sufice for a pickup.

November 22, 2008, 11:09 PM
also an m44, m38 or 91/59 mosin would be a decent choise cheap and plentiful

November 22, 2008, 11:55 PM
This is my favorite brush gun in 7.62x39

November 23, 2008, 12:00 AM
I've got an old Ted Williams .30-30 that I use as my "brush gun." But then again, I use it for just about everything.

November 23, 2008, 12:25 AM
Keep in mind that a brush gun in any caliber will not shoot through brush and continue in a stright path, the bullet, heavy and slow or light/medium and fast will be deflected if it hits anything much larger than a broom straw. I would for brush hunting, that is moving through the brush choose something light weight, short and something that you won't mind a few scratches on. For deer hunting, .30 cal rifles offer the greatest selection of bullet weights.

November 23, 2008, 12:33 AM
When you say "brush gun" I'm thinking of a short, handy rifle in a large caliber such as .444 which resists being easily deflected by light foliage.

A varmint gun for coyote is something else entirely.

The .270 or .308 might be a good middle-of-the road choice.

November 23, 2008, 12:51 AM
Chuck Dye and moosehunt are spot-on; the lighter, faster, flatter shooting rounds are the LAST thing you want in short-range, heavy brush. Even in purchasing the hard-to-find round-nose bullets in the .243, their relative light weight (100g) and velocity (~ 2800-2900 fps) make it one of the last "brush" guns you would want. If the brush is as dense as you say, I would find it extraordinary that you'd get the opportunity for a 200 yd shot? Mr. Dye also makes another good point about the shorter barrel; when negotiating heavy brush and thickets, you'll appreciate the 18-20" barrel as opposed to a 22-26". I Elk hunt in Western Washington near Mt. Saint Helens, and four years ago was ecstatic about taking my then brand new 300 Remington Ultra Mag (in a Browning A-bolt) over there. I still love the rifle, but I couldn't believe the difference in the 26" barrel snagging on branches and brush while carrying it on my shoulder via the sling.

I'm a bit nostalgic and rely on my Dad's old model 94 30-30 when chasing Whitetails in our creek bottom (and yes, most of my time is spent chasing them, not stalking :)) ; plenty of oompff inside 150yds and accurate enough to make a killing shot. There are several other heavier calibers out there that would also be great. A friend of mine picked up a beautiful 45 long colt and swears by it for shooting anything in brush in the 100yd range.

Good luck in your research, and stay away from 243, 6mm, 25-06, 270, etc. They have their place, but it's not in the brush.

Mike U.
November 23, 2008, 12:56 AM
DAMN! That CZ Carbine is one handsome piece of wood-n-iron!
That Turkish Walnut is some of the fanciest I've seen in a while. Beautiful!

Chuck Dye
November 23, 2008, 01:40 AM
Chuck Dye and moosehunt are spot-on;

um, er...

Long ago and far away, when I was the worst kind of buff (read all the rags, had zilch for experience,) I read an article in one of the gun rags in which the author set up arrays of dowels ("?) at various positions in the flight path of a variety of bullets from the varmint end to the "brush gun" end of the spectrum. As I recall, ALL showed such deflection as to demonstrate that there is no such thing, ballistically, as a "brush gun." Go with what you already have or buy the rifle you want for convenience (or any other reason :))

Hunting down the article is left to the student as an exercise.

November 23, 2008, 03:03 AM
Reality: Caliber has nothing to do with whether a rifle is a good "brush gun".

Nada. Nil. Zero. Zip. Nothing. No Way Jose. Nope. Not AT ALL.

While "Chuck Dye" is correct that a .25/06 (and some other calibers) "doesn't come into its' own without a long barrel" - calibers like the .25/06 fired from 19" barrels will still slay deer all day long at 200yds. and certainly at 50yds. For that matter, the .22 Hornet is every single bit as good a "brush gun" caliber as a .45/70 - because as long as it is sufficient to dispatch the quarry - caliber simply does not matter. Period.

Reality: A good firearm for "brush" is: short, light, and unscoped (so it can be easily carried in one hand). Period.

Reality: there are very, very few rifles that make even decent "brush guns". If you really want a "good brush gun" you need a handgun.

An Tha's a Fac, Jac !;)


November 23, 2008, 03:22 AM
+1 vote for the CZ 527 Carbine! I'd love one of those (in fact, it's #3 on my list after a CZ75 and 1911).

Personally, I'd pick something in either 7.62x39 or .30-30. IMO, you're basically looking for an intermediate cartridge on a carbine platform that you wouldn't mind getting beaten up (due to the whole 'brush' thing). This leaves you with several options:

* .30-30 lever action. I'd go for a Marlin (can be had for about $250 if you look around) - no significantly appreciable difference between them and a Winchester, IMO.
* SKS, preferably not the Yugo which has a 22" barrel and heavier milled receiver. Think (unfortunately): Chinese. Bonus points if you can find a paratrooper model.
* the above mentioned CZ 527 (I intend to et one of these myself sooner than later... *drool*)
* Ruger makes a similar weapon to the CZ 527, but their site is currently down and I can't check. I think it's only available in larger calibers, though.
* You could probably even go for an AK, if you wish - just be sure to use a 5rd magazine (though that might depend on your state laws - NFI what those are, you'd have to check).

Might be others out there, but that's what I'm aware of.

My personal opinion is that you'd be hard pressed to find a nicer shooting, cleaner fitting (to itself and to you) rifle than a CZ for less than twice as much. a .30-30 lever can come a close second - very natural ergonomics for hasty shooting.

Whatever you do, don't scope what you get unless it's a scout scope or red dot.

As for the person who says stay away from the .270 (I presume winchester)... I've got to disagree. That's a good intermediate cartridge and will do the job (you're talking about a 130-150gr bullet, which is enough to push through twigs and still hit target @ 200yds, more or less). I think it's a bit too powerful, to be honest. It's more push than you need, and in a short, light rifle, it's going to be very unpleasant to shoot (ask me how I know) and throw out a massive fireball.

November 23, 2008, 06:12 AM
FWIW, shooting through brush with anything is a bad idea.
People think that the .35 Remington or .45-70 can reliably penetrate brush but the truth is that even if your bullet does make it through it will probably start tumbling right after that and lose accuracy. It might deviate from where you wanted to go or it might hit your deer sideways and result in an injured animal.
It's a much better idea to get close and shoot through "holes" in the brush.
So if you want a .25'06, I'd say get a fairly light one with a relatively short barrel. Put a low power scope on it and place your shots where you want them.
Another option I'm fond of is the old 30-30.
The CZ-527 in 7.62x39 his a handy little rifle too but I don't know how big the deer get in CT. Hunting them with that round in your area may be pushing the upper limits of what the cartridge should be use for. You'll have to make that call.

November 23, 2008, 08:41 AM
The idea of using a large slow bullet to get through brush is an old myth that will not die. Any bullet that hits twigs and limbs will deflect and possibly break up before hitting the target. A good argument can be made that the larger diameter bullets with more lead exposed are easier to deflect than smaller pointed bullets.

I hunt in some of the tightest cover anywhere and believe the best approach is to avoid brush. Most any caliber will do, but I want a rifle that is literally a tackdriver at 50 yards so I can shoot through tiny openings in the brush. If it will not hit a dime at 50 yards every time I am not interested. I use a low powered scope to allow me to take advantage of the limited light in the deep woods right at dawn and dusk. I occasionally get shots at up to 200 yards but zero at 50 and know where my bullet will hit at the longer ranges. With cartridges such as the .308 and 30-06 I am still less than 4 inches low and know I can make shots at 200 if necessary. Most people sight in to be slightly high at 100 so they will be only slightly low at longer ranges. If I felt I was likely to get longer shots I would too. I am far more likely to get a shot at 15 yards than 150.

November 23, 2008, 08:44 AM
I'd go for the Savage 10FCM. 20" barrel, .308win, excellent iron sights, light weight, synthetic stock, forward optics mount for a red dot or scout scope, if desired.

November 23, 2008, 08:49 AM
You would take a shot at 200 yds with iron sights?

November 23, 2008, 09:59 AM
how about a marlin lever gun in .308 ,with the lever revolution ammo it could be the perfect brush gun ?

November 23, 2008, 10:32 AM
natescout You beat me to it . I was going to say 308 in a BLR .

November 23, 2008, 12:03 PM
One advantage to to big slow bullets, especially when hunting in thick cover (not shooting through thick cover) is the two big holes it leaves in critters. If tracking is required and so far I have not had to track anything since I converted from skinny fast bullets and that includes a Black Bear and an Elk. The Bear took one through the shoulder smashed bones and exited the opposite side. A nice straight wound channel roughly twice the size of the bullet diameter (.459"). The bullet used was a hard-cast Beartooth Pile Driver jr and it was jogging along at a mere 1400 fps or so out of my Guide Gun.

Neither the bear or the Elk left the scene and those that witnessed the shots described the performance as "devastating."

On game in heavy brush exit wounds are good. I've seen both bears and Elk absorb hits from 30-06 and 300 win mag and take off like they weren't hit. My BIL lost a Bear last year because we just couldn't find enough blood despite a close range 30-06 hit.

November 23, 2008, 12:08 PM
i like to go with big calibers because it leaves room for error you hit a deer in the vitals with a .22 it will die but you it it with a .45-70 it leaves room for error with the large amount of energy it delivers

this error is important to think about in brush since you may not get a clean shot


i lost a bear i hit in the shoulder with a 150gr .30-30 at 30 yards last weekend and it was the second hit i put into it the first one was at 15ft!!!

November 23, 2008, 12:17 PM
Will agree with you, JustsayMo - on game like elk and bear the bonecrunching ability of big bullets at pedestrian speeds cannot be denied. That's much of the reason why my caliber preferences jump from 7mm to at least .35 caliber, and .40 or more is better.

PaintballDude - You lost a bear from in your lap?? :eek: What happened, Dude :confused:


November 23, 2008, 12:17 PM
With the new Leverevolution bullets the Marlin 336 in 30-30 is pretty darn close. While a touch heavier than the Winny the side eject and ease of mounting a scope gives it the nod. Further more the price (New for $350ish, used here local for $175 - $250) is a great value for the quality and performance of the gun.

The real BEST IMHO is the Browning BLR in .308 giving you the BEST of both worlds, handy, quick handling, and even better range, but then again you can buy 2 336s for what you can buy 1 BLR.

fireman 9731
November 23, 2008, 12:18 PM
A handi-rifle does come to mind pretty quick for a good brush gun... shorter barrel and fairly rugged. as far as caliber goes the sky is the limit. I have a 45-70 and like it a lot but it is a little heavy for coyotes and stuff... the 30-30 has killed a lot of deer in the brush though too....

November 23, 2008, 12:23 PM
I guess everyone has a different meaning for brush. To me it means shots of 50 yds and less, where the only place you can even see 200 yds is on a stretch of road. For whitetails in that environment, a 336 in .35 Rem is hard to beat. But, I also have a CZ carbine in x39, and it is faster handling than the 336. Wish CZ would chamber for .35 Rem!

November 23, 2008, 01:47 PM
Brush = can you find the Mulie in this picture? She's less than 40 yards away.

November 23, 2008, 02:15 PM
Paint- I feel your pain. It ruins your day. Bears are tough and this time of year they're usually fat and hairy and that tends to clog and soak up blood.

When my BIL shot his last year we spent the whole afternoon well into the dark trying to find him. We had a blood trail for a while that took us into the steepest thickest (of course...) stuff in the area. We did a search pattern from the last drop of blood in every direction. Couldn't find him anywhere. We both felt sick about it. It put a damper on the whole trip.

Lots of good advice in this thread. I'd recommend the OP to sift through and see what will work in his area and his hunting style and then decide. After that get very familiar with the rifle - shoot lots. Like someone said earlier, you don't get a lot of time when hunting the thick stuff. You have to confident you and put the shot where it needs to go. Be proficient shooting off hand as it will more often than not be your only option.

The Bushmaster
November 23, 2008, 03:07 PM
.30 WCF or better known as the Winchester mod 94 in .30-30. And because it is light and fast...

Yup, JustsayMo...I've hunted that brush in the Snoqualmie Nat. Forest. East of Seattle, North of I-90...

November 23, 2008, 03:38 PM
A marlin lever action in 30-30 or 35 is a proven combination in brush but not realy very good for target shooting.

270,308 or 30-06 will work in brush just fine with heavy bullets,light bullets will come apart on light brush because they are going so fast.I have 2 Savage bolt actions,a 110 in 270 and a 111 in 30-06 and they are very accurate for the price.They work well for hunting and informal target shooting.Pre-accutrigger Savages work fine and the triggers are adjustable.

7MM's are all good performers a long as you keep there speed down.Good target shooters

I have heard good things about the 303 british and 6.5x55 Swedish Mauser as far as brush hunting goes.The Swedish Mauser would make a better target gun then an Enfield.Enfields in good shape can still be found cheap,not sure about the mauser.Not sure whats out there for factory hunting loads for either.

I bet 7.5x55swiss would be good in the thick stuff but again finding proper ammo could be a problem.The K31 is a fun gun to target shoot.

7.62x39 in an SKS with proper ammo would work as long as you have a legal magazine,most states have a limit on capacity for hunting.I would not bother target shooting with one.

7.62x54rr If you can find an accurate rifle and proper ammo this could be a good brush set up.Good Luck!

6mm and 243 are a little light for brush but will work.Good target shooters.

44mag is good up close but because it is so short it tumbles easy.If you get a longer shot,say 75 yards or so and hit a piece of brush close to you it will just spin off someplace else.You can hear it buzzing threw the woods as the deer runs off.I used to have one,an H&R Shikari single shot,not a target shooter at any distance past handgun range.

Well here it goes,the 22mag. You said northeast and if you are in Maine you can legaly hunt deer with a 22mag.I ain't saying its right or wrong but its legal and it works.Fun target shooter.

November 23, 2008, 03:49 PM
A .35 remington Lever will do good. It usually shoots ~200-220 grain bullets which will go right through brush.

November 23, 2008, 03:54 PM
As has been previously mentioned, all brush deflects (or better, interupts) bullet flight. So for me a brush gun is one in which the gun itself is easy to carry and maneuver in thick stuff. I won't shoot thru brush or anything else to attempt to hit my target because I don't know what the bullet is going to do after its first encounter with twig, limb, etc. on way to said target.

My brush gun is a Remington 742 carbine, chambered in 30-06, topped with a 4x scope. Short, auto loader with an authoritative round.

November 23, 2008, 05:01 PM
depends upon your future usage:

deer & bear & feral hog: lever action .35 remington

varmint to deer: bolt action in .243, .25-06, .257 weatherby mag

varmint to caribou: bolt action in .30-06 (eg: varmints -- Reminton 55gr saboted accelerators up to caribou --220 gr soft points or partition-type loads)

November 23, 2008, 05:35 PM
Remington 7600 carbine in the caliber of your choice. They combine the speed and compactness of a levergun yet offer the power and accuracy of a bolt action

November 23, 2008, 05:36 PM
justsaymo, the mule deer is less than an inch southwest of the center of the picture. Her ears stick out like Obama's! :)

November 24, 2008, 12:16 AM
7600 carbine in .35 rem, .308 or 30.06

Their fast handling, accurate and reliable.

Mount a Williams WGRS peep and keep the sling in your pocket.

November 24, 2008, 12:23 AM
Lever action Marlin 30-30. Light, reliable, and taking deer at 150 is a non issue.

November 24, 2008, 09:50 AM
Box o truth test on bullet deflection

Interesting read

November 24, 2008, 10:18 AM
Inside of 200 yards I'd say that the 35 Rem w/ 200 Gr bullets is a great fit for a "brush gun", especially in a short carbine like a Marlin 336 or my personal favorite, Rem Model 8. I have a lot of toys in my safe, but my old Model 8 in 35 Rem has killed more deer & antelope than the rest combined. Just have to get in close ( relative here in Colorado ) and under 200 yards the big old 200grainer will get the job done.

Great old round in a handy package.

November 24, 2008, 12:43 PM

November 24, 2008, 06:56 PM
Hey everybody!
I had to respond to this because I too live in the NE (NH) and we suffer the same "problem". I don't hunt, but my buddy that is an AVID hunter settled on a good ol' Winchester 30/30 Lever Action. He loves the trusty iron sights, the rifle is long enough for accurate shots out to 300+ yds. and superb shots at 0-200 yds., but short enough to fit securely on his backpack for the hikes in/out. It never fails, has a great action, and is good in all temps. He isn't afraid to bang it around and scratch the "nice finish". It's a TRUE brush gun in every way. He has taken several deer and moose in his lifetime, and has convinced me, anyway, that my next rifle will probably be a good lever action like his. :)

November 24, 2008, 07:05 PM
Would be real interesting to see what the box-o-truth results were if the target were a greater distance beyond the dowels.

November 24, 2008, 07:13 PM
I've hunted up and down the E.Coast. GA, SC, Conn.,MA, ME, and N.Brunswick, CA.

Either the .30/30 or .35Rem will do nicely.

No, they don't "buck brush" any better or perhaps as good as an '06 w/220gr bullets, or a 7mmMag w/175gr bullets. Or .45/70 or whatever.

However, the bullets loaded in the cartridges are optimized to the game and distances and velocities that you'll be hunting.

The rifles handle exceptionally well; pointing, swinging, and carrying well due to the ideal balance and short length they have "evolved" into.

I've got nearly 30 rifles suitable for the game you'll likely be hunting, but when faced with the choice of what rifle will go "hunting" on the next day, I usually take one of the Marlin levers in the aforementioned caliber. Especially if I'll be "still hunting" (a walking-stalking type of hunting) as apposed to hunting from a stand or shooting house over a "bean field" or cut-over, power-line ROW, or what-have-you. (For those I have another "variety").

I prefer a low power scope for picking out the "ears" and antlers through the brush and "threading" the shot through the openings; hence I favor the Marlins.

I think that if you went with the new Marlin .308MX in the 22" blue iteration and perhaps a Leupold or Nikon 2x-7x scope, that you'd have the best of both worlds. (Sorry, I DON'T like the BLR due to it handling like an off balanced 2x6).

A close second, and a preference if walking up on "food plots" in open woods is my Remington Mod7 in 7mm08 with a Leupold VariX-III 2.5-8x scope. It's quick to the shoulder, more than adequately accurate and powerful for any N.American use. It has a bit more "reach" than either of the two "Levers". My best friend killed a 1,200lb 6x6 bull elk with the rifle in '05. I too have a Rem Mod-7 in .223 that has killed more than it's fair share of whitetails. However, you'll be more than pleased with either a 7mm08 or .308wcf. Sorry, I ain't a .243 fan! (long story; as in 25yr career as gamewarden looking for deer wounded by .243's- a Loooonnnng story, at that!).

Good luck with your "choosing". I'm still trying "options" after 40yrs. Thats part of the fun and attraction of shooting and hunting for me.
(BTW; a friends son just killed a "whopper" of a 10pt buck with an SKS I sold him that I'd "cut down and trimmed up"; so those will work too!)

November 24, 2008, 07:19 PM
Brush gun. 336 Marlin 30-30, 170gr corelokt. Simple and effective, assuming you don't have great bear issues.

You would take a shot at 200 yds with iron sights?

Might not be prefered optimal distance, but shouldn't be a deal breaker for the well practiced shooter.

Rem7600 is a good looking alternative too.

November 24, 2008, 08:00 PM
Sorry I'm not naming my thread quotes, but someone recommended an SKS . . . did you just buy one thinking Obama was coming to get you? SKSs are battle rifles. They're shooters, but not made for precision. They're also heavy . . . something you don't want in a brush gun, unless you're planning on knocking down the brush with IT. Great guns, though, I got 2, Chinese and Yugo.

I highly recommend the Browning BLR in 243 or 25-06. Light, simple, nice and accurate with good ballistics. I hang bolts on briars/vines/Gum saplings (I'm from S Arkansas, all we got is brush). Same goes for scopes. The rounds will do everything you're looking for and don't beat the crap out of you in the light rifle. Autos are fine and fun, but they don't have the accuracy potential that bolts and levers do. I don't mean from recoil flench, to head you auto freaks off. I like autos, too.

Cool pic of the Muley . . . looked for a long time . . . read on down . . . went back and finally saw her . . . pretty cool how they're just there if you know what you're looking for. BTW . . . if you thinks that's brush, come play in my backyard . . .

November 24, 2008, 08:40 PM
Ruger semi automatic 44 magnum rifle.

November 25, 2008, 05:16 AM
Remington short barrelled pump action rifle in .308. Strong medicine at short ranges.....

November 25, 2008, 05:44 AM
When I hear brush gun and the Northeast, I immediately think of a Winchester lever action 30-30.

November 25, 2008, 06:32 AM
When I hear brush gun and the Northeast, I immediately think of a Winchester lever action 30-30.


November 25, 2008, 09:58 AM
Mine was a Remington Model 14 pump in .35 Rem, but my old man swore by his Win .30-30 for all deer in the heavy brushed steep sloped canyons where we could pretty much count on finding deer.

Lot of good times but 'ol 60 yr old Ken (me) feels the pain of all that hard work.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
November 25, 2008, 10:09 AM
270,308 or 30-06 will work in brush just fine with heavy bullets,light bullets will come apart on light brush because they are going so fast.

Oh lawdie have mercy.... A "Brush Gun" (for those that know) has zero, zilch, nada to do with actually hitting brush and carrying on a true trajectory because no caliber can do that, period. In my opinion.

A brush gun has ONLY to do with its shortness/lightness/handiness for (a) squeaking through brush while carrying it with minimal snagging, and (b) quick shouldering/handling characteristics to facilitate the snap shot you are far more likely to encounter in brush. A brush gun is for when you maximum shot is going to be 40 or maybe 50 yards, and most shots are gonna be at 10, 20, or 30 yards.

Someone said a CZ 527 in .35 Rem - hmm, tasty. But I don't know if the action is big enough for that. I doubt it.

Wanta B
November 25, 2008, 02:31 PM
Normaly when I hear the term "Brush Gun" I think Short barrel leveraction.
1)They are VERY fast with a bit of practice.
2) Nothing to catch on thick "Brush".
3)Extremely easy to maneuver.
4)Accuracy,practice,find the ammoe that you and the rifle do best with and head shots on what ever are yours at 200yrds all day long.

I have a Marlin Guide Gun stainless .45-70 18.5" Barrel,Marlin 1894ss-ltd .357 with fiberoptic sights,Puma 92 ltd ss 16" .454 with fiberoptic sights.My 1894 is Stainless Laminate stocked and has a custom rail mount with an EOTECH such that the irons can still be used.I will be putting Ghostrings on the GG with tritium front by Brockman's Gen III and custom rear tritium.Goal here is sleak,easy to use sights,hard hitting fast follow up shots...easy maintenance and not afraid to get it messy.

Crawling thru' thickets might give another nod to the levers as you have the whole "same ammoe" thing going on for rifle and pistol.

Give a look at Springfield's M1 SOCCUM....nice sleak profile,16" barrel,great sights that have tritium for low,or no light...reliable and fast follow up shots.Fast reload box magazines and plenty accurate out to 500m and .308win is good for anyhting in the lower 48.:evil: It is a bit on the heavier side of things for brush carry I guess.:rolleyes:;)

Wanta B

Wanta B
November 25, 2008, 02:34 PM
I have to agree with PremiumSauces.

November 25, 2008, 02:44 PM
30 30 is a good brush gun. Good for the 100 - 150 shots ,I think 200 is to far for the 30

November 25, 2008, 02:51 PM
+1 to Third Eagle,...

I have one of those old Ted Williams 30/30's bought from either Sears or Monkey Wards, far back to recall,... about a lifetime ago,'s taken a lot of deer,..and I've quieted down a bunch of yotes with it as well,...passed it on to my son,...but I still "borrow it back" every now and then.....I am using a .44 Mag Trapper Winchester anymore. It get's it done well in the thick stuff too.

Wanta B
November 25, 2008, 02:56 PM
Completely forgot about the old Savage 99 FL .308 I got from a pawn shop.It is preaty beat up but works just fine.I intend to have the barrel cut down to 16.25".Also just put a 99 .243 box mag on lay-a-way.:D

November 25, 2008, 03:13 PM
a light 25-06 would work, but a fairly compact .308 would be better IMHO.
A couple things:

As a few people have mentioned, there are no "brush buster" rounds. A The atricle someone sited and several others have proven this in testing. 45-70's don't plow through brush while 7mags defelect feet off course when they hit a twig.

It is really compactness and easy maneuvering that makes a good brush gun.

You are trying to cover a wide range of applications with one tool, which comes with tradeoffs. Depending on the level of your other activities, you may be disappointed. The 30-30 that would serve you well in the woods would not be optimal for open country coyote hunting, nor any real serious target shooting. So if your coyote hunting will be done more in wooded areas, and your idea of target shooting is plinking for fun at ~150 yards, a 30-30 lever gun would fit the bill nicely. As soon as you start to get more serious about target shooting or coyote hunting, the 30-30 may not seems as well suited. So having one tool for all these jobs is like saying you don't want ato own a wrench set, you just want to have 1 crescent wrench or a pair of vice grips instead.

Although the notion is ridiculous, I think a 308 with a 20" med. weight barrel(something like the remmy LTR) is the best tradeoff if you absolutely had to have 1 rifle only for all applications. You can get factory ammo from 110 gr hornady tap for coyotes out to very long range, match ammo for target shooting out to ~700 yds, and tough 180 grain grand slam loading from companies like speer that would be great for anything like elk or moose out to 300.

The Bushmaster
November 25, 2008, 03:18 PM
cinteal...No you have no idea what hunting in brush is until you get down off your stand and actually hunt. You know. Track and stalk. I lived in Oregon and hunted the Cascades from Canada to California and you have no idea what brush hunting is...

I live in Ava, Missouri now and hunting the hardwood forest is a cinch except for the ambushers in tree stands...The leaves on the ground are a pain in the a$$ though...

Premiumsause...Sounds like you have hunted the brush...+1

November 25, 2008, 04:50 PM
I don't stand hunt, thus my comments on catching bolts on brush. In fact, I don't deer hunt anymore . . . no challenge in stands or slipping through the bottoms. Somewhat puzzled why you assumed that I was a "ambush" hunter.

As for brush, I do coon hunt. I have had to get on my hands and knees and crawl to get out of places my Walkers took me. They're cutting the world down here and the young stuff that comes up where trees used to be and the light the 600 acre clearcuts let into the forest to grow underbrush where the canopy used to restrict it . . . yeah, I DO know what brush is . . . Brush with thorns, sitckers, vines, and dense saplings.

For the folks that get off the roads and railroad tracks (abandoned), unless you're in old forest (which there's not much left here), 80 yards is about as long a shot as you can get down here. I don't know where Ava, MO is, but my guess is that your notion of Arkansas is the north part . . . I'm from the south part . . . big difference. Cane breaks, flooded timber, logging refuse and the wonderful stuff that grows around it. If ever threatened, I won't run to the hills . . . I'll head to the bottoms . . . if I can't fend them off with my Bushmaster. :)

But I agree, the folks that drive to their stands, actually park under it, drink coffee and "wait" for something to happen upon them, I don't call that hunting, either.

November 25, 2008, 04:57 PM
+1 to myself :)

Either classic lever action 30-30 or any pump or semi-auto with shorter barrel.

November 25, 2008, 05:30 PM
PaintballDude - You lost a bear from in your lap?? What happened, Dude

I've never lost any big game, but in really thick brush I've lost small game on several occasions. One of the places I hunt rabbits has dirt roads and pastures surrounded by almost impassable brush. Since I have to hunt that area with rimfires and airguns, (noise considerations. I have permission, but the land owner doesn't want me alarming the neighbors), I quickly learned that it was a headshot or nothing. All the rabbits had to do was make it ten feet into that brush and they may as well have been on the moon.

I imagine PBD's bear was similar. Sometimes animals can move a couple hundred yards in thick brush even with a fatal shot and if there's no blood trail... I've always managed to track my own, but a buddy of mine lost a deer once and after he shot it there were three of us in the woods trying to track the darn thing.

The Bushmaster
November 25, 2008, 05:37 PM
O K cinteal...I'll concede to ya. And you are correct. Ava is in the southern/central part of Missouri in the Ozarks. Also Mark Twain National forest and wilderness is close by...

November 25, 2008, 06:04 PM
I've turkey hunted in Mark Twain and abouts years ago (Natchez?) . . . I like it. However, I did run into things I wasn't prepared for like turkey gobbling across a ravine that I would have had to have ropes to rappel into. Don't get 100 ft tall rock outcroppings too much down here . . . ain't got too many rocks, matter of fact.

And, to be honest ,and not make myself look to be great white brush hunter . . . I do hunt old forest, now . . . big time open . . . and yes, slipping is a cinch. And, because it's bottoms, leaves are mostly washed into piles and it's always somewhat damp . . . poor critters ain't got a chance . . . less when I was lighter :(

November 25, 2008, 06:47 PM
<<< Ok, maybe it wasn't Mark Twain (looked it up on Google Maps). But I've been in that neck of the woods . . . still like it. That was when I was 13/14. Slept since then.

Mike U.
November 25, 2008, 07:33 PM
I didn't see the muley, but, I did see BIGFOOT! :what::what::what:

November 28, 2008, 12:40 AM
When I think "brush gun", I think of a carbine relatively short and light that packs a punch. It's especially important to put game down quickly in heavy brush so that they don't travel far-because moving long distances in heavy cover can mean never finding the quarry. In my experience, the Savage 99, chambered in .358 Winchester, brings deer and/or black bear down quickly with any reasonably placed shot and the 20" barreled carbine is handy in thick brush. It's my pick for sure in the deep woods cover I hunt in in Pa and Mi.

Rifleman 173
November 28, 2008, 01:48 AM
How about a Spanish Mauser or an Indian Enfield in .308 caliber? Those would be the cheaper way to go. A Remington in .308 would be the pricier way to go. All 3 rifles would serve you well and they would cover a decent distance well over 200 meters or so.

November 28, 2008, 07:21 AM
CZ-527 is the best. It's light and the scope can come of in less than a minute. Since I roll my own I found the Sierra #2205 is the best hunting round. My interpretation of a "brush gun" is one that is light, easy to carry with a shorter barrel and you can carry with a lot less effort than a longer and heavier rifle. Any shot you take that hits a bush or branch is going to get deflected whether it's a .22 or 30-06.

IV Troop
November 28, 2008, 09:03 AM
If I was limited to the conditions of short range (under 200 yds) and thick stuff I would go a different route.

I would pick an AR15 chambered in 6.8spc. I would make it a 16" lightweight profile (not HBAR) flattop. I would top it with a 1.5x5 Leupold illuminated scope.

I think that a 6.8 spc AR would certainly meet my needs for a short range deer, coyote and target gun.

November 28, 2008, 02:49 PM
I found the mule deer in the picture and it's just above dead center of the picture. Here in North Central Pa. when someone mentions a brush gun, they are usually talking of a lever action 30-30 but with that said I use a Marlin guide gu in 45/70 with peep sights. Anchors the deer right now without any trailing.

November 28, 2008, 08:14 PM
Lots of brush here in Northern Minnesota. Any of the rifles mentioned will do the job. My new favorite is an AR15 in .223. It is light, short, quick and accurate and does the job. My second favorite is an old Winchester 94 lever in .30-30. It doesn't have quite the accuracy of the AR for coyotes. The AR is not legal everywhere for deer. I also have an old Remington pump .35 cal. that has taken lots of deer. I also have a 742 and 7400 in 30-06 with see thru mounts that are great but a little heavy. I don't believe caliber makes much difference at close range or in heavy brush. I sometimes just carry a .357 revolver in really thick heavy stuff. I used to have a .243 that is popular in this area as a dual purpose round. I agree with the BLR in .243, in .308 they had a pretty good kick, but are effective. SKS would work but is a little long, heavy and not real accurate. AK pretty much the same but a little shorter than the SKS.
I like your choice of a 25-06. A very good cartridge if you can find it in suitable brush rifle.

November 28, 2008, 08:47 PM
I live in NH, will be 57 This coming Sunday, and as a wee lad saw real brush guns in Vermont New Hampshire and Maine.

Almost all of these were Winchester lever guns in 30-30, .32, .35, and an odd .40 somethings.

None ever have scopes. No shooting was done anything like at 200 yards.. more like 10 yards to maybe 75 if you could see that far in the woods.

A few bolt guns that were short carbines in 30 cal and I don't mean military carbines... Hunting Mausers that were never military, in either original cailburs like one I have as 6.5x54 MS, or 6.5 x 55. The better part of these have a 20 inch long barrel and are compact.

A longer gun maybe with a scope is not a brush gun.. Winchester mod 70 and like guns are not brush guns. Unless there is a carbine version.

The idea in the day was a long slow and heavy slug cut brush and killed game, and it did.

I would agree the 7.62 x 39 rnd would do as well in real hunting ammo and not milsurp, and that the SKS would be a better brush gun for cheap than nearly anyother as new gun could be.

I own 3 AK clones and to me these have too many things sticking out to be a great brush gun, but they would do.

In NH we are limited to a 5 round mag, and that doesn't mean a 40 rnd mag with 5 shells either..

So short clean lines free of the snaggies is a brush gun, in slow heavy slugs, is what you want if you really want a brush gun.

November 28, 2008, 09:44 PM
Double your fun and think about a Springfield Armory M1A -- a short one like the "bush/scout/socom" is a joy to shoot.

You can use a wide range of .308s, from 150gr. to 220grs. --- semi-auto with 5 rd. mags or 20rd. G.I. type mags for Vermin Control. The SA M1As hold their value very well and a 16" - 18" .308 is still light on recoil.
Just another option -- GF123

November 28, 2008, 10:00 PM
I hunt the ozarks backcountry with a winchester model 95 saddle ring carbine. It's chambered for the 30-06 cartridge. It's hard to beat an 06.

November 28, 2008, 10:39 PM
Chuck Dye and moosehunt are spot-on;

um, er...

Long ago and far away, when I was the worst kind of buff (read all the rags, had zilch for experience,) I read an article in one of the gun rags in which the author set up arrays of dowels ("?) at various positions in the flight path of a variety of bullets from the varmint end to the "brush gun" end of the spectrum. As I recall, ALL showed such deflection as to demonstrate that there is no such thing, ballistically, as a "brush gun." Go with what you already have or buy the rifle you want for convenience (or any other reason )

Hunting down the article is left to the student as an exercise.
Formerly posting as Huck Phinn.
Gee, I'd still love to see your data!

I recall the reason for the writer to set up the dowel rods on a board and set out in front of his target,he had used all sorts of dowel rod sizes to see if a bullet of all sorts of weight would shoot through the rods and hit his target.
Not a single bullet hit the target after hitting a few rods.
He did this test because he was In africa and he missed a big water buf, or some other big game, when he took a shot while shooting through some high grass,,when he shot, the animal looked around then walked awy, the guied looked at the hunter, like how did you miss at 25 yards,
I missed a deer sideways, I found I had hit a tiny stick,I sat inmy stand thinking,what did I hit,well it was a tiny twig,thats all it takes,
I like a short barrel for brush gun,and in 444 or 45-70,,

Art Eatman
November 29, 2008, 09:46 AM
If I didn't already post it here, I've posted elsewhere: All experiments with bullet deflection and brush show that it doesn't really matter if the bullet's tip is pointed or rounded, or if it's a relatively small caliber or a "great ol' big un"; they all deflect. About the only meaningful variable is the distance between the limb and the animal. Short distance, you might get lucky...

"Brush gun" means a rifle/carbine which is easy to carry in thick cover, and light and handy as to swinging onto a target.


November 29, 2008, 09:58 AM
This seems to be a matter of religion rather than science with some doing a 180 degree misinterpretation of the study. Here is the link to the study: The main conclusions were that light bullets like .223 deflect wildly while bigger stuff plowed through. It is true though that round nose vs. spitzer didn't matter.

The myth is not a myth it is true. Anyone who has hunted in real brush with a .35 Rem and a .243 or .270 knows it is.

November 29, 2008, 01:40 PM
The Mosin 1938 makes a good brush gun. Its cheap, can take abuse, and ammo is very reasonable.

November 29, 2008, 02:22 PM
Very interesting and (somewhat) informative link, Woof. Enjoyed viewing it.

November 29, 2008, 04:16 PM
I think the point of brush gun is being missed that the gun has clean lines and is more or less brush free.. So a trim tool for weilding in brush, snag free.

Most of my deer hunting since the mid 80's has been done with a Nor' West Gun shooting a 0.600 round ball, and that more or less cuts off brush, and doesn't zing off on tangents..

Brush hunting is close work, and sometimes the deer will be running away, still very close. A too fast bullet in the hind end of a deer damages more meat as i see things..

In heavy brush like I have in NH where it can be hard to see 25 feet never mind 25 yards, a slow round isn't all that bad.

And the Nor' West Gun is not a brush gun.. too long and too many stickieoutties.. but I love it.

November 29, 2008, 04:32 PM
12 ga shotgun, Mossy or Rem, you pick'em. Semi or pump. Put a red dot on it, single point sling and as many slugs as your state will let you carry! Yippee!

Something about shotgun geometry and the practice gained from breaking clay birds says brush gun to me!

November 29, 2008, 05:06 PM
Did anyone mention the folly of trying to shoot through thick brush in general? You can't exactly know your target or what is beyond if you can't see it.

As said by Shawnee on page one, no modern small arms projectile can be fired accurately through brush. The benefit of a brush gun comes from its portability.

This seems to be a matter of religion rather than science with some doing a 180 degree misinterpretation of the study. Here is the link to the study:
That was hardly a study. From what I could tell, they fired one round of each ammo type and based their results on their findings. This is the exact same as firing a one round group; it doesn't tell us anything other than where that one round went in that one instance. It did show what we would expect to see(which is why it is believable), but it didn't set any truth's into stone. He should have included information like muzzle velocity and sectional density, then compared two like bullets with all variables the same except for one and shot a 20 round group with each to determine the best performing attribute. Taking a 55gr .223 SP and comparing it to a 165gr ballistic tip and a 510gr .45 RN is like comparing a cell phone battery to a double A and a car battery; you get results but they fail to prove anything.

November 29, 2008, 05:10 PM
nksmfamjp , I'ld agree with a 20 inch barrel, and the sleek lines if he wanted a brushy shot gun.. As a lad I had a L C Smith side by, some hack cut at 18 and 1/4 inches. It had a brass bead out front and some cut down section of a brake line doubled screwed at the breech, and it was a dandy in the brush.

I hunted alone and so placed numba 7 and 1/2 shot in the right tube and a load of 00 Buck in the left.. But the topic was rifle, or so I thought.

November 29, 2008, 10:46 PM

7 round detachable magazine, 450 marlin. the MARLIN only has a 4 round tube magazine. Only getting one here in the US.

a better solution would be an AR in 450 bushmaster.

November 30, 2008, 01:07 AM
* .30-30 lever action. I'd go for a Marlin (can be had for about $250 if you look around)

November 30, 2008, 02:00 AM
My "brush gun", is a Mossberg 535, with a rifled barrel and iron sights, loaded with .73 caliber, 465gr Lightfields at 1900fps.

November 30, 2008, 02:08 AM
My "brush gun", is a Mossberg 535, with a rifled barrel and iron sights, loaded with .73 caliber, 465gr Lightfields at 1900fps.

November 30, 2008, 07:59 AM
Tests like the one cited above have been done over and over. I've seen them reported here and elsewhere. They all show pretty much the same thing. Yes, any bullet can be deflected. No, it is not a good idea to try to shoot through brush. And yes, at the margin, bigger heavier bullets will deflect less than light ones.

Those who think light bullets will cut brush at all and those who think heavy bullets will cut through anything are equally deluded. Be a hunter, get a clear open shot or don't take it.

November 30, 2008, 08:19 AM
i think its worth a look that most of their 'experimental' shots were hitting dead center of a dowel. even the shotgun just busted through 1. this is hardly the case, and i think could have corrupted the results. if someone were to do the results with a few layers of cut sticks, placed at random distances and random angles. then shoot, just to make it simple, a 30-30 and a 30-06. easy enough to load them up the same except for velocity. how many times have you been in a situation where you would have had to shoot through a single wall of perfectly vertical, uniformly sized twigs?

November 30, 2008, 08:41 AM
have you thought about a remington 7400 carbine (30-06)? cheap to shoot, fast handling, enough power for almost anything on this continent, the best ammo availibility of any caliber, super quick follow up shots (auto-loader) . while 30-06 only has a 30 caliber bullet, you could shoot 220 or 240 grainers out of it which should resist deflection a bit. a 45/70 marlin would be a great gun as well. especially shooting 400 or 405 grain bullets ot of it. but to get the real potential out of a 45/70, you have to hand load or buy EXPENSIVE ammo for it. and for what it is worth, take it down and have a set of fire sights put on it even before you shoot it. no sense in waisting a lot of time, energy and expense trying to use the stock (lousey) sights on your new gun. you NEED something that will come up FAST!

November 30, 2008, 08:52 AM
praharin, The bullet doesn't know whether the dowel it hits is vertical, horizontal, angled, straight, smooth, twisted or anything else. It just hits wood at a specific point and reacts or doesn't. Of course this test didn't allow for a bullet to hit more than one dowel on the way to the target. But even in that case I would bet that even though any bullet would be more deflected, the gap between the light bullet's deflection and the heavy bullet's deflection would show an even wider gap.

Think of it this way: If you were being shot at through a gnarl of brush, would you rather the shooter have a .223 or a .35 Rem? Either would suck but I'd take my chances with the .223

Friendly, Don't Fire!
November 30, 2008, 09:00 AM
If you can take the weight, I shot a 460 Weatherby Magnum with Barnes solid bronze (I believe 500 grain) round nose bullets through three trees with a sloped field beyond the trees for a backstop. The bullet traveled through ALL 3 TREES (about 4" - 5" diameter) and made a cut in the field about 10' long!

Trouble is, that would be a LONG and HEAVY brush gun! My point is that a heavy bullet will tend to plow straight through some objects and may STILL hit the target.

A real test would have been to have a target set up past the three trees to see if there is any consistency with the bullets after going through that much wood.

Marlin 45 carbine
November 30, 2008, 09:25 AM
Ruger M77 All-weather in '06. that's what I have.
I looked at the same que you posted for here in W. North Carolina. with 180/200 gr slugs will do for anything East of the Mississippi.

November 30, 2008, 09:55 AM
The physics of this is about momentum. Momentum is mass times velocity. A 200 gr bullet at 2000 fps has a momentum that is equaled by a 100 gr bullet IF it is at 4000 fps. The 50 gr bullet would have to be at 8000 fps. So for real world shooting, the heavier bullets will have more momentum giving them the edge from the get go.

The real key is the distance between the brush broken through and the deer. That will matter more than the gun. Bottom line is nothing shoots through brush well enough for a hunter to be confident he can shoot through brush.

November 30, 2008, 10:36 AM
Somehow, all this talk of 'shooting through brush' reminds of 2004, when a hunter from Massachusetts came up here to hunt bear. He heard a noise on the other side of the blueberry thicket (you know how bears love blueberries, QED it's a bear!), fired, and when he went around to the other side to retrieve his quarry found a dying hiker. Instead of field dressing his kill and carrying it home to butcher and eat it, he did a funny thing- he ran. And went all the way home to Massachusetts, where later he told his wife what he had done. She called emergency services, but the guy was long dead by then.

The point of this long story is to ask what on earth you people are thinking shooting through heavy brush? Please remedially read No.4 of the Four Rules. If the brush is really thick enough to stop a hunting bullet, it is too thick to see through and too thick for you to adequately identify your target and backstop. The solution is tactical, not technological: wait for a better shot, or don't take it.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
November 30, 2008, 11:28 AM
I'm assuming (there I go again) that all of this conversation is about hunting game that is completely VISIBLE, except for, perhaps a twig.

If people are talking about shooting at NOISES in the BRUSH, then don't even bother getting your hunting license. Maybe even sell your guns.

I have to disagree that brush that is thick enough to stop a bullet will also hide a game animal to the extent that it will be IMPOSSIBLE to ever see. I have dense brush behind my house that one could see, perhaps 15' at most in. If I am hunting in that brush and come upon a buck that is startled out of his sleep and I see clearly that it is a buck, yes, I will shoot the buck. And, given those circumstances, I would prefer my 12 gauge 20" barrel with slugs or 00Buck.

There, see, it can happen - and it can happen safely.

November 30, 2008, 02:57 PM
here is a little secert I learned deer hunting in Maryland's shotgun only areas. sabot slug 20 or 12 gauge H&R sluggester with low power scope 2x ect are hellishly deadly on deer under 200 yards. Don't tell anyone I told you..

Friendly, Don't Fire!
November 30, 2008, 03:00 PM
OK, my lips are sealed.

November 30, 2008, 03:10 PM
I agree with a couple of the other responses regarding a Savage 99. Excellent choice in either 308win or 300savage. Probably not as readily available as most of the other suggestions but it would be well worth finding one.

November 30, 2008, 03:58 PM
I have to disagree that brush that is thick enough to stop a bullet will also hide a game animal to the extent that it will be IMPOSSIBLE to ever see.

I'm not having much trouble putting subsonic .22lr through 2x4s on the narrow side and still having them explode against the steel trap when they get through, from 25 meters away. And, unless it hits a dense knot in the wood, it goes through in a straight line.

Twigs aren't going to do much to stop or significantly deflect any hunting bullet. I can't imagine anyone selecting bullets specifically to penetrate brush, unless they're indiscriminately trying to turn cover into concealment, as the man says.

November 30, 2008, 04:08 PM
Coyotes, deer, target shooting, in a bush gun package...
That's certainly a tall order.

Well, for coyotes, one should prefer a lighter, higher velocity round, a varmint round. It should come in a package that's accurate at long range. Similar concerns are present for target shooting. The problem with this is that varmint rifles tend to be long, and light rounds are more easily thrown off course than heavier rounds (due to inertia).

To me, a bush gun is a short, manueverable gun that's pointable and fires a heavier, slower rounds. So, really, a firearm that can be used to hunt both coyotes/target shoot as well as be used as a bush gun is, as I said, a tall order: the concerns are nearly opposite. Unless, of course, coyote hunting to you is not done on large, open plains, and you don't plan to do any real, long-range shooting.

I think you do have a few options, though.

If the bush you're going to be experiencing isn't all that thick, a high velocity, light round may not be a bad choice. It really depends on how thick of bush you're going to be taking on is. A long-barreled rifle chambered in .25-06, .243, or .270 may be a fine choice, again, if you're not going to be taking it through really thick bush.

If you're going to go through really, really thick unbearable stuff, as others have said, a .30-30 leveraction rifle is a superb choice. But you will not be able to do any real, long range target shooting with it. A CZ 527 or a .308 or .30-06 rifle in a bolt or lever-action package with a short barrel can be a fine choice, and these offer you more versatility when it comes to long range shooting. Of course, you also have the option of going with a 12 or 20 gauge loaded with slugs, or a handgun chambered in a nice, powerful caliber--10mm, .44 Mag, .45 (Long) Colt, .454 Casull, .50AE, .460 S&W, or even the .500 S&W beast. Obviously, target or coyote shooting options with these are extremely limited or non-existent. Still, handguns are small, offer great pointability, and light weight. A scoped Thompson Contender, a revolver, or heck, a Desert Eagle could be a fine choice if you want to do close range bush hunting. And then, there's the possibility of going with an AR-15 platform rifle. Chambered in .50 Beowulf, .458 SOCOM, .450 Bushmaster or some other close-range, hard-hitting caliber, I'm sure you'd be proud. Flat-top, flip-up sights, decent glass, a nice stock... yep, I'm sure you'd be happy, and, at will, you could easily go to a longer, heavier freefloated upper in .223/5.56mm for nailing coyotes or targets at longer ranges.

If you really must get a do all gun, I suppose your best option is a .308 or 7.62x39mm carbine in a bolt or leveraction package. Perhaps a Saiga or PTR or M1A/M14 rifle could be good, their operations are proven and robust. That, or a good AR would suit you fine. But your concerns are very nearly opposite, like I said, so if you only get one gun (or, in the case of the AR, one upper) you will be trading strength in one field for weakness in another.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
November 30, 2008, 04:09 PM
Twigs aren't going to do much to stop or significantly deflect any hunting bullet. I can't imagine anyone selecting bullets specifically to penetrate brush, unless they're indiscriminately trying to turn cover into concealment, as the man says.

The man. Right. Not the man is right. Do not confuse the two.

I think your idea of a brush gun is different than what others are relating to.

Brian Dale
November 30, 2008, 04:10 PM
As has been written, a brush gun is one that's easy to carry and maneuver through the thickets. If I can't shoot between the branches, I won't take the shot.

Of the rifles that I've carried through the thickets and ravines on this farm:

~ lever action rifles have been easiest for me;

~ a scoped Springfield bolt action sporter was in the middle--not bad, but heavy, and it tended to catch on branches more than the lever rifles have done;

~ an AR-15 with a 20" barrel was the worst rifle configuration that I've carried through the thickets: the front sight tower was a branch-and-vine magnet and so was the pistol grip. YMMV.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
November 30, 2008, 04:35 PM
I'd agree. The brush gun should be simple without anything to catch branches, twigs, vines on.

A lever action in 30-30 or 45-70 or a short-barreled shotgun with slugs or 00Buck.

I once owned a 45-70 Marlin lever action. Another one of those guns that came and eventually went (oh how I wish I would have kept that one). Sometimes, you can't keep them all!

Preferably lightweight.

January 7, 2009, 10:02 PM
I have been using a Robinson Arms VEPR-K 762x39 (wolf 154gr soft points) as my brush gun, it has the 16.5" barrel + compensator. I didn't buy it for use as a brush gun and yes I get a few strange looks, but it works great. First of all it has never ever failed to feed or fire, I use 5 round mags which make loading an unloading real easy. The trigger guard is a winter type and there is no need to take your gloves off, pretty nice up here in NH. I added a 4x24 PSOP scope with lit reticule for $120 and the iron sights are still easily used, bonus. It is quick to the shoulder, handles great in the NH woods (Ayup, that's nothing but brush), has two sighting options and lit reticule and a good trigger that works with gloves on. The only complaint I have is that the safety is too loud, but only if your not careful.

February 17, 2009, 06:45 AM
Why not try a cheap remington 700 in 6,5x55 swedish? U can varmint aswell as load 10 gram (arround 150 grs) "deer" bullets. The ballistics and accuracy is outstanding. Its been used for over 100 years and still got a reputation. So it got to be good....Got 4 rifles in that caliber my self. I used to hunt moose with it. But then a got a 375 for my birthday, so they serve as competition rifles only these days......

February 17, 2009, 06:48 AM
how about a marlin lever gun in .308 ,with the lever revolution ammo it could be the perfect brush gun ?

my thoughts exactly!

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
February 17, 2009, 09:45 AM
Remington Model Seven in .260 Remington, since you like the flatter shooting rounds.

February 19, 2009, 01:04 AM
7600 REM in 35 whelen with williams guide sight.

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